IBA chair rules out vision of united Euro legal profession

EUROPE will never see a united legal profession and will retain local Bar associations, says the president of the International Bar Association.

Professor Ross Harper, addressing the Barcelona Bar Association last week about the future of a “Bar for Europe”, acknowledged the chance of common commercial law but stressed the importance of keeping domestic and private law within the jurisdiction of each country.

He said: “I say with confidence that if a particular country joins a European federation it will still retain its own private law. I state with equal confidence that as the world becomes smaller and communications greater then there will be an increased globalisation of law in commercial proceedings.”

Harper also highlighted the issue of rights of establishment on which the Council of Bars and Law Societies of the EU recently reached a decision after years of infighting. “We must recognise the importance of providing the most effective legal services to the customer, whether the customer is a national or international corporation.”